Teaching My Baby To Read

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Afterschooling in the Summer

(Our new magnetic whiteboard.)

The total lack of sunshine and constant rain today in the middle of July doesn’t seem to indicate it, but summer is halfway over now, and I’m starting to get a little panicky.  Soon I’ll be sending Bruce off to first grade and I won’t get to be his primary teacher anymore.  We have high hopes that the GATE program he is going into will eliminate the need for Afterschooling.  Hopefully we will be able to do some fun Guided Reading activities with my SLE inspired reading lists, and sneak in some extra learning in the car, and that will be it. 

In the meantime Bruce is cranking away at Right Start Level D (and earning lots of screen time from all of his hard work.)  I also went ahead and ordered the basic kit and level one from All About Spelling, which promises to be an interactive, multi-sensory way to teach systematic spelling rules.  Hence the magnetic whiteboard purchase today.  Although I really don’t know if I purchased the right size, so I’ve kept the receipt.  I need a white board for all of the spelling magnets that are going to come with the kit. 

I’m really curious to see what this program is like, because I am such a horrible speller myself.  In fact, please do me the favor of pointing out my spelling mistakes to me so that I can fix them!   I also wish I had found out about it earlier, because with gifted children you can apparently start level 1 as early as four and a half.  Right now, we are waiting for the UPS and USPS people to come.  I also have some of my audio CDS for the car arriving any day now, chiefly Story of the World and a Jim Weiss storytelling one for Jenna.

In case you think I’m going all “tiger-mom” on my kids, please rest assured that I am still a big believer in summer being a chance for children to goof off, play, and experience boredom… after they have done about an hour of schoolwork.  If you add up all of the summers off children have, that’s twenty months of wasted opportunity!  2 extra grade levels!  When I was in high school, I used each summer to prepare for the next term.  If I knew I was taking AP Biology for example, I would review and memorize all of my advanced biology flashcards from the 8th grade.  The only subjects I didn’t do this for were math and physics, because those were topics I struggled to teach myself.  Maybe this summer I’ll finally teach myself how to spell.  🙂


  1. Claire H. says:

    I hate to break it to you, but I think Bruce is likely to find Level 1 of AAS far too easy. If it hasn’t already shipped, I’d recommend calling them to switch it to Level 2. Everything that’s covered in Level 1 is repeated in the first few lessons of Level 2.

    I did start my son in Level 1 because at the time he had not yet learned all the sounds of all the phonograms plus he was barely writing and his attention span wasn’t all that great. I had to spread each AAS lesson out over several days because I could really only get him to focus for about 10-15 minutes at a time.

    Had I known about AAS when my oldest was in K or 1st, she would’ve been best off starting at Level 2.

    • jenbrdsly says:

      Yes, but I could pass level 1??? 🙂

      I can always save in for Jenna I guess. Thanks for the belated heads-up!

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